Kiambu legislators seek creation of super constituencies in revenue-sharing row
The proposal by three Kiambu legislators to introduce a bill in parliament that seeks to have their constituencies documented as super is set to trigger a heated debate in parliament.
MPs George Koimburi (Juja), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika) and Simon King’ara (Ruiru) are seeking to jointly have their areas of representation recognized as super constituencies owing to their huge population.
In a bill that is currently being drafted by the three, Juja, Thika and Ruiru will, should other legislators okay their proposals be receiving double NG-CDF allocations to spur social-economic developments in their respective constituencies.
Currently, Juja and Thika enjoy a population of over 300,00 people while Ruiru enjoys over 500,000 people, a populace disadvantage that the legislators blame for slowed social-economic developments in their constituencies.
Should the proposed law that could see Article 203 of the Constitution amended be passed and enacted, the three constituencies will be receiving double NG-CDF allocations and the MPs will also have double powers of voting during motions in parliament.
Today, February 7, 2023, Koimburi insisted that due to the increased population, his constituency is growingly suffering from a shortage of key infrastructure and social amenities that facilitate decent living.
Speaking when he issued Ksh50 million bursaries to thousands of applicants at Kalimoni and Murera Wards, Koimburi regretted that his constituency deserves more financial allocations to spur economic developments such as roads, renovation of schools, electricity connectivity and water supply to locals.
“Ruiru, Juja and Thika have the highest population in the country. The funds we are giving in form or bursary have never been able to meet the demands of our people. We are pushing to become super constituencies to receive double allocations to meet the needs of our constituents,” said Koimburi.
While seeking the support of other lawmakers, the MP insisted that by allowing legislators from the three constituencies to vote twice during debates, will better the voice of the people they represent.
His sentiments were echoed by Ng’ang’a who insisted that the population of Thika constituency is too high to be receiving the same financial allocation as constituencies with very few people.
The lawmaker stressed the need for other parliamentarians to consider pegging national government resources with population for fairness in division of the national cake.
“Our population is too high to get the same NG-CDF allocation with constituencies with very few electorates. My Sh 30 million bursary kitty has never met even half of the needs that our people have,” regretted Ng’ang’a.
Besides the voting powers and double allocation, the MPs will not have their salary increased, a move they said will go a long way in reducing expenditures accrued if each of the constituencies were divided into two.
“We will not demand for salary increments but the resources issue is long overdue. Our people are suffering and it is impractical to peg distribution of national resources on geographical sizes of an area. People matter more than land,” added Ng’ang’a.
In 2019, the Commission on Revenue Allocation proposed the third revenue sharing formula that emphasized population as the main factor for determining revenue sharing.
This caused a heated debate and eventually, the formula was voted down over claims that it disadvantaged the arid regions.
With the introduction of super constituencies, no constituency will receive a lesser amount of money than they are receiving currently but the most populated will enjoy an increment.
The determination of the number of constituencies is done through delimitation, a process that involves dividing an area into defined counties, constituencies and wards by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
IEBC reviews the names and boundaries of constituencies at intervals of not less than eight years and not more than 12 years.